Eli Drake On The Necessity Of TV Deals In Wrestling & More

Eli Drake

Eli Drake was a recent guest on the WINCLY podcast. During the interview, he discussed the importance of a TV deal in wrestling, as well as expressed some concerns over Pursuit’s lack of availability in many areas. Here are the highlights:

On The Need To Roll With The Punches In Wrestling:

Well, the funny thing was, I was completely comfortable in the sense that I was like, ‘Oh, this is fine. I’ll just go in, I’ll grab a microphone and I’ll talk.’ Until I realized that the microphone’s not gonna work because the power’s out. So at that point, I was like, ‘Alright, well, we’re gonna make the best of it.’ And I just perched myself up on the turnbuckle and I was like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna start to tell a story.’ And I had no idea what I was gonna talk about or where I was gonna go, and then down marches Tommy Dreamer.

So we kinda had a back and forth, I took a quick survey of who wants me to leave, who wants me to stay. I think they wanted me to stay, actually. And then they just brought a match out, and I think I stood in to be honorary bell ringer for a minute. It’s just, I’ve been doing this for so long and modeling myself after guys that I watched growing up. I feel like you gotta know how to roll with the punches and how to just be able to work and think on your feet.

On Concerns Over Pursuit’s Limited Availability:

It’s an interesting dynamic because Anthem actually owns Pursuit so it makes it a little bit convenient in the sense that, now there’s a little bit of freedom as far as what we can do for simulcasting. That’s why we’re able to do Twitch at the same time, so anybody who doesn’t get the channel can also catch it on Twitch.

And Pursuit is – I guess a bit of an outlier of a channel in a sense. [You can’t watch] unless you have particular provider, but again, like I said, you can do that on Twitch, you can do that on GWN when it goes later. But I think it at least gives us some freedom to do what we want, since it’s our channel. And I think that’s kinda cool in a sense because now you can really, kinda let the dog off the leash in a certain sense, creatively. And see where that goes and then that can bode well for future endeavors.

On Why TV Deals Are Important To Professional Wrestling:

I think it’s still necessary only because the biggest advertisers are still in television. I think that there is eventually going to transition in to a way where – I think cable is eventually going to go the same way as just regular radio. Where people still listen to it, it still exists, but for the most part, they’ve got MP3, they’ve got satellite radio, they’ve got Pandora. All that kinda stuff. So I think it’s going to become something more like that, where streaming – that’s gonna kinda be the thing.

So I think the company that can really get to that, and really push that and find a way to monetize that properly to where it can actually replace television, that would make television obsolete. But I think for now, television is still very important again, because you’re running a business at the end of the day and you need money for that, and the money, for the most part, the best amount of money you’re gonna get is from television advertising.

You can listen to the full podcast below:

Credit: WrestlingInc.

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